Doyley's 300 up!
Lloyd Doyley will make his 300th Watford start this afternoon as the Hornet`s line-up against Leicester City at the Walker Stadium.
It`s now 10 years since the popular defender arrived on the first-team scene at Vicarage Road as a raw 18 year-old as a substitute in a 3-3 home draw with Birmingham City. Doyley went on to make 21 appearances in his breakthrough season.
Originally a centre-back, Doyley has since been shifted to right and more recently left-back. However he nearly left the club in 2008 when Aidy Boothroyd transfer listed the Hornet`s own 'Mr Consistency` as part of his shake-up ahead of the 2008/2009 season. However, the cream rose to the top and once more Doyley started the campaign as first-choice right-back before ending it under Brendan Rodgers as first-choice left back.
The man responsible for the change? Current gaffer Malky Mackay, who switched the full-back during his brief three-game tenure as caretaker manager after the sacking of Aidy Boothroyd.
It was also under Mackay that Doyley scored what is to date his first and only professional goal. And who could forget? 269 games, 9 seasons, 1 goal, and what a goal it was. From a right-wing cross Doyley entered nosebleed territory to dive-head home. Watford went on to beat QPR 3-1.
The closest Doyley had come prior to his solitary career goal was in 2006 when he fell over the ball when well placed inside the six yard box against Crewe Alexandra. Matthew Spring subsequently bundled the ball home.
Accolades have not been in short supply for the 28 year-old. Former boss Ray Lewington described Doyley as 'the best one-on-one defender at the club` whilst Mackay has claimed Doyley is 'up amongst the best pound-for-pound defenders in the division`.
Here`s to another 300 Lloyd - congratulations!